Ecuador. After almost a year of intense political debate,
on November 4, a request was made for the initiation of a
judicial process against President Lucio Gutiérrez Borbúa.
The president has long been accused of embezzling public
funds and receiving illegal contributions from Mexico for
his presidential campaign. However, the decision on national
law has been delayed as the opposition has not been able to
guarantee the 67 votes for Gutiérrez Borbúa's dismissal as
the Constitution requires. Opposition to him includes
several of his former alliance partners, including Ecuador's
strong Native American movements, which accuse him of
betraying his election promises, pursue a hostile economic
policy and misconduct the important oil industry.
CountryAAH, the total population in Ecuador is 17,643,065 people in 2020.
The elevated political temperature reached its climax on
November 16, when riots erupted in the Congress plenary.
President's brother Gilmar Gutiérrez Borbúa beat one
opponent and another member drew guns. The dissatisfaction
with the president was also reflected in the mayoral
election on October 17, when his party PSP (Partido Sociedad
Patriótica) only won in two small provincial capitals in the
Amazon, while the opposition won in the capital Quito and
the largest city of Guayaquil. Even Vice President Alfredo
Palacio marked distances to Gutiérrez Borbúa by declaring
himself responsible for the election promises made by the
President but left unfulfilled.
The last Ecuadorian president to face the threat of
national law was 1997, when Abdalá Bucaram was forced to
resign, and in 2000 President Jamil Mahuad was ousted after
a protest storm led by, among others, Gutiérrez Borbúa, then
chief of the army.
1992 Right wing to power. Rollback of reforms
In the first rounds of elections in April 1992, the right
wing parties PSC and PUR entered respectively. a first and a
second place. President Febres Cordero was elected mayor of
the port city of Guayaquil with 70% of the votes cast. The
2nd round of elections on July 5 was won by Sixto Durán
Ballén. The center-left and the left contributed to his
victory as he was considered a lesser evil than the
counter-candidate Nebot's authoritarian politics.
The new government launched a program, called
"modernizing the state," which aimed at privatizing
state-owned enterprises and a strict structural adjustment
policy. It included the abolition of subsidies, price
increases and the release of prices for basic goods -
including gasoline and other petroleum products - as well as
limiting wage increases to below the level of inflation.
The opposition in parliament, the Native American
organization CONAIE and the national organization FUT
sharply criticized this policy, which led to increased
poverty, unemployment and the complete abolition of social
benefits. Real wages continued to fall, and in 1993, average
urban wages were just 21.4% of the purchasing power it had
Central conflicts unfolded around the privatization of
social security, electricity supply, telecommunications and
oil. Opposition was strengthened as it succeeded in forming
the Front in defense of the national supremacy (Frente por
la Defensa de la Soberanía Nacional), which consisted of the
unions from the most strategic areas, CONAIE and other
The privatization legislation that would open up more
massive privatizations had to be changed repeatedly. In this
context, the most important party in the parliament PSC had
a decisive influence. For ideological reasons, the party
strongly advocated privatization, but nonetheless advocated
a softer line to avoid paying excessive political costs that
could adversely affect the 1996 elections.
Meanwhile, the economy continued its protracted downturn.
GDP fell and so did export revenue. This was particularly
true of banana exports, which were hit by import
restrictions imposed by the EU in 1993. Only construction
and oil production were kept free from the economic
downturn. The government issued new oil exploration permits
and planned the construction of a new oil pipeline.
Resolutions sharply criticized by the opposition, concerned
about the environmental impact and depletion of oil